11 states receive new HIX grants totaling $1.5 billion

Eleven states will share in $1.5 billion worth of grants from the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) in support of their efforts to build out health insurance exchanges that meet the needs of their residents. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced on Jan. 17 that Exchange Establishment Grants have been awarded to California, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Vermont.

“These states are working to implement the health care law and we continue to support them as they build new affordable insurance marketplaces,” Sebelius said in a prepared statement. “Starting in 2014, Americans in all states will have access to quality, affordable health insurance and these grants are helping to make that a reality.”

Provisions of the Affordable Care Act stipulate that consumers and small businesses will have access to marketplaces starting in 2014. The marketplaces are intended to provide access to quality, affordable private health insurance choices similar to those offered to members of Congress.  Consumers in every state will be able to buy insurance from qualified health plans directly through these marketplaces and may be eligible for tax credits to help pay for their health insurance, according to HHS. 

Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Vermont received awards today for Level One Exchange Establishment Grants, which are one-year grants states will use to build marketplaces.  California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon received Level Two Exchange Establishment Grants, multi-year awards to states to further develop their marketplaces.

HHS reported that 49 states, the District of Columbia and four territories have received grants to plan their marketplaces, and 34 states and the District of Columbia have received grants to build their marketplaces. States may apply for grants through the end of 2014 and may use funds through their start-up year.

Click here for a detailed breakdown of marketplace grant awards made to states, including summaries of how states plan on using the awards.